SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Last year, California saw one of its most devastating wildfire seasons.
That's why firefighters at Cal Fire says it's important to be prepared for fire this year and every year.
“In the last year we had five of California's 20 most devastating fires occur just last season,” fire captain Nick Wallingford said.
And that's not all.
Wallingford says wildfires are expected to get worse.
“So instead of having isolated years that are having bad fire seasons, we're now in a four-year trend of incredibly devastating fires,” Wallingford said.
The rainy winter has caused grasses to grow, which are now drying out creating the perfect fuel for wildfires.
Already this year, Cal Fire has responded to more than 950 wildfires that have burned over 5,800 acres across the state.
So cal fire is urging homeowners to do their part to defend their homes against wildfire.
“So that involves mowing grass to four inches or less, limbing up trees to get those lower limbs off the ground, removing any vegetation that's flammable,” Wallingford said.
But with 90 percent of wildfires in the state caused by people, he says there are some things you should avoid to prevent from starting a fire.
Wallingford says people should avoid using lawnmowers or other gas-powered equipment in the dry grass during on hot windy days.
And it may sound like a no-brainer, but if you're a smoker don't throw your cigarette out of your car window while driving.
“Any smoking materials need to be safely discarded within an ashtray or extinguished in water especially during all the summer months,” Wallingford said.
And in a large wildfire, there may not be enough resources to protect each individual home.
That's why Wallingford says homeowners need to do their part to prepare defensible space around their homes.
“So we're going to do everything we can, but you also have to do everything you can to prepare your home for wildland fire,” he said.
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